Last week, in the view of complaints received by parents, Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) temporarily banned the battle royale game PUBG in the country. Since then, the ban has been a hot topic, and many PUBG players have taken to social media to share their contempt towards the ban.
Pakistan’s esports community had just started gaining recognition, and this ban has been a major setback for many potential stars. Hence, a couple of prominent names have voiced how the ban is unjust and counterproductive, especially for people who are making a career out of it.
Last night, Arsalan Ash, esports Player of the Year 2019 and Unified Evo Champion, also talked against the ban condemning the decision. He said:
The current situation, during crisis…there is so much unemployment, and during the lockdown, people are still earning through esports. There are companies who are making pathways for players, making a source of earning for them, and the PUBG ban is totally unacceptable because many players are earning through the game.
Talking about how the ban will mangle with the success of national champions wanting to play on the global stage, he detailed:
There are so many talented players in Pakistan who deserve international exposure…but sponsors are focused on Cricket, and esports are being neglected. There is so much stuff happening in the esports scene in Pakistan, and not only it’s being neglected, it’s being banned so that talent never makes an international leap. We are bringing international players in Pakistan on our own without any support from the government, and you know how difficult it is to bring international players in Pakistan.
He also talked about how players can not go and compete since most of the events have been converted to virtual events due to the pandemic. Thus, the ban came in testing times where all esports players depend on internet connections in their home country to make a living.
In the end, Arsalan humbly requested the government to rethink their decision. He said:
My humble request to the government is that during this lockdown, this difficult phase where there is so much suffering globally…if in this situation, players are making money [through PUBG streaming] don’t shut their source of income.